US consumers turn to online delivery with big growth in curbside delivery
Survey finds home delivery is being supercharged by the COVID-19 crisis but companies struggling to maintain enough inventory
A new survey from CommerceHub of more than 1,500 US consumers has found that as e-commerce continues to soar, curbside delivery is becoming a critical capacity for those looking to make the most out of the growth.
The survey found that 59% of consumers said they are more likely to use curbside pickup following the coronavirus outbreak and this pattern of behaviour will accelerate post-crisis, as heavy e-commerce users are growing more likely to opt for curbside delivery. Amongst those who subscribed to multiple delivery services (including Amazon Prime), 75% said they were still likely to opt for curbside delivery once the pandemic subsides
This is coming on the back of a major leap in people’s openness to- and spend on online deliveries, which will also hold over once the economy reopens, with even more growth for subscription services.
Respondents to the survey said they will be more willing to subscribe to a delivery service for essential items following the COVID-19 pandemic to the tune of 69% of those questioned, and a similar amount said they were interested in grocery and essential item delivery subscription services. This extends to consumers who have thus far been reluctant to move towards e-commerce, as 49% of respondents over the age of 50 who did not shop online prior to the COVID-19 pandemic said they’re likely to subscribe to a delivery service now, although 59% of respondents aged 70+ said they would still prefer to shop in-store once the crisis is over
However, this surge in demand is causing major headaches for those tasked with delivering it, with major stock shortages reported across the entire e-commerce sector according to the survey. 80% of respondents said that they have searched for an item to purchase online, only to find that it was out of stock and even Amazon’s infrastructure is creaking, with only a slightly lower 75% of Amazon Prime subscribers in the survey saying that the items they were looking to purchase online were out of stock.
They also face longer delivery times and unscheduled delays, reflecting the exceptional demand and disruption. 35% of Amazon Prime users said that the longest delivery delays were a week or more, underlining the strength of demand and 60% of respondents said that more than 3 days was the longest delay in receiving items purchased online
Consumers understand that this is a problematic time and that there will be some delays and friction in the deliveries. However, as restrictions ease and conditions return to normal, there will be no such let up. While 30% of respondents do not care about delivery time, 70% of respondents say that expected or promised delivery dates to order essential items have impacted their purchase intent, which rises to 80% for Amazon Prime subscribers.